St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation appoints Andrew Jacques as new Executive Director

Andrew JacquesSt. Bernard, La. (January 5, 2014) — The board of directors of the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation (EDF) announced the appointment of Andrew Jacques as the organization’s new Executive Director today.

“We are excited to announce that Andrew will be heading up the organization as executive director” said Joseph S. DiFatta, chair of the board of directors. “My fellow board members and I have the utmost confidence that Andrew will advance the mission of the Economic Development Foundation to promote the economic development and commercial growth of St. Bernard.”

Prior to joining EDF, Jacques was a Senior Business Development Associate at the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA). He functioned in numerous areas of the organization, with a focus on corporate relocation, business retention and expansion, and retail attraction. While at NOLABA, Jacques helped grow their business development pipeline and managed projects including the Cobalt Medical Development resulting in 165 jobs and a $22,000,000 investment. Jacques has built strong relationships with Louisiana Economic Development and Greater New Orleans, Inc., which are pivotal to success in attracting and growing businesses in St. Bernard.

“I am honored and excited to join the EDF as executive director,” said Jacques. “I look forward to working with the board of directors, businesses, and residents of St. Bernard to continue the positive momentum and shape a vision for growth and opportunity in the Parish.”

Jacques shared that his immediate top priorities focus on three key areas: developing a robust Business Retention and Expansion Program, marketing the Parish as a desirable destination in which to live and work, and building and strengthening relationships with regional and local partners.

The board appointed Jacques to the position following an extensive regional search and selection process.

“Andrew impressed us with his passion and approach to growing jobs and improving the quality of life in St. Bernard,” said Walter Leger, Jr., who chaired the EDF search committee. “Andrew has already hit the ground running and is bringing a ton of energy and new ideas to the job.”

Born in New Orleans, Andrew is passionate about growing wealth and opportunity in Southeast Louisiana and in his spare time, enjoys the food, culture and music of the region. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Rollins College, is currently a candidate for International Economic Development Council’s Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation, and serves on the board of Court Watch NOLA.


Our mission is to promote economic development and commercial growth of St. Bernard, and to lead the initiation of partnering organizations seeking to improve the quality of life for St. Bernard Parish citizens. To achieve this mission, SBEDF primarily engages in business attraction, retention, and expansion. Additionally, workforce development and policy development are pursued as key initiatives to drive economic development activities.

The St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation has been recognized by IRS as a 501 (C)(3) Non-Profit Organization. The Board of Directors consists of 28 voting members and 8 non-voting honorary members and public officials, all of which serve as volunteers to the organization. All members of the Board adhere to the By-laws Conflict of Interest Policy of the organization which requires all members to refrain from entering into transactions or arrangements that might benefit the private interest of a Director of the organization or might result in a possible benefit transaction to any Director of the Board.

The St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation has engaged in a number of positive activities since its organization incorporation in December of 2005. These activities include marketing the parish to businesses, providing grants, loans, information and expertise on a number of State and Federal Programs.

All of the activities described above are funded by contributions from business and industry and grants obtained by the organization. The organization does not operate under any other alternate names.

EDF Board Members:

Executive Committee Members

  • Joseph S. DiFatta , Chair, At-Large
  • Deborah M. Keller , Vice Chair, St. Bernard Business and Professional Women
  • Drew Heaphy , Treasurer, St. Bernard Port, Harbor and Terminal District
  • Frederick J. Sigur, Jr. , Secretary, St. Bernard Chamber of Commerce
  • Rita Gue , The Meraux Foundation
  • Chris San Marco , St. Bernard Tourist Commission
  • Robert Showalter , At-Large
  • Walter J. Leger, Jr. , Ex-Officio

Voting Appointed Board Members

  • Stephen Reuther , St. Bernard Chamber of Commerce
  • Jerry Calcagno , St. Bernard Chamber of Commerce
  • Dr. Robert Scafidel , St. Bernard Port, Harbor and Terminal District
  • Patrick Trahan (Chalmette Refinery, LLC) , Largest Private Employers
  • Molly Buckley (Entergy) , Utility Company
  • Patricia Bienvenu (Chase Bank) , Financial Institutions
  • Sean Warner (Gulf Coast Bank) , Financial Institutions
  • Travis Moore (Whitney Bank) , Financial Institutions
  • Kevin Reichert , St. Bernard Community Foundation
  • Judy Hoffmeister , St. Bernard Community Foundation
  • George Barisich (United Commercial Fisherman’s Association) , Fishing and Seafood Industry
  • Honorable Robert Buckley , At-Large
  • Cullen Tonry , St. Bernard Bar Association
  • Al Claude , New Orleans Metropolitan Association of Realtors
  • Zeljko Franks (Associated Terminals) , Largest Private Employers
  • Taryn Rogers (Valero) , Largest Private Employers

Voting Members/ Public Officials

  • David Peralta , St. Bernard Parish Government President
  • Guy McInnis , St. Bernard Parish Council Chair
  • Dr. Thomas Warner, Chancellor , Elaine P. Nunez Community College
  • Doris Voitier , St. Bernard Parish School Board Superintendent
  • Non-voting Honorary Members/ Public Officials
  • Rep Ray Garofalo , Louisiana State Legislature
  • Diana Dysart , St. Bernard Parish School Board Member
  • Randy Nunez , Clerk of 34th Judicial District Court
  • John F. Rowly , St. Bernard Parish District Attorney
  • James Pohlmann , St. Bernard Parish Sheriff
  • Jaylynn Turner , St. Bernard Parish Assessor
  • Senator A.G. Crowe , Louisiana State Legislature
  • Senator J.P. Morrell , Louisiana State Legislature